"...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)
I received a surprising and confusing e-mail yesterday. It was from Google. You may think that since I write a blog and have a Facebook account, I'm very "tech-savvy". Boy, that's a joke! Frankly, I'm not "tech-savvy" at all. I am so glad my son Jon is very "tech-savvy" and my daughters do pretty well in that area, as well. My wife Mary Ann is also definitely more technically astute than I am. So, it was really hard for me to process the e-mail. It was a pretty long e-mail. It a nutshell, it said that Google is making some major changes which will include shutting down and deleting a number of blogs on Google including mine. It said that after February 4, I will "not be able to post comments" and that in early April my blog will be eliminated and deleted. It did say that in March, I will receive instructions about how to download my blog, if I want to save it...I suppose "in the Cloud"!
I forwarded the e-mail to my son and asked if he could make heads or tails of it. Jon who also has a blog on Google, said he did not receive that e-mail. Jon looked into it and got back to me. He said it's not Google blogs that are being eliminated- it's Google Plus blogs that are being eliminated. He said Google Plus was going to be a social network that Google envisioned would rival Facebook, but that it never really got off the ground. I went back and re-read the e-mail and it did say "Google Plus". Jon surmised I must have been "tricked" at some point to upgrade to Google Plus. Honestly, I don't remember doing any such thing. Now, I do have a youtube site that I access through Google, and I have posted comments on various people's Google blogs. I wonder if the e-mail I received is pertaining to any of that and maybe not to my blog.
I don't know.
I've had very mixed emotions about how I would feel if Google does eliminate and discard my blog. I don't want to save it "in the Cloud". I feel if it does go away, then the Lord is closing the door on it, and that's that. If I misunderstood the e-mail and my blog does not go away, well that will certainly be interesting. I don't know what's going to happen, so I thought I would share this as sort of "farewell thoughts" about "The Blog of Bob Baril" just in case!
Jon noted that if the blog goes away I could start another one on Word Press. And, maybe I'd do that; I'm not sure. Things are very different in my life, and in some respects in my outlook and my philosophy since I started The Blog of Bob Baril in early 2006. I originally started it on AOL Journals. If you think this font and format looks blah, you should have seen it on AOL Journals! It was all very "plain Jane" looking. And, in those days, my URL address was long, convoluted, and bizarre. I used to tell friends, "Just save it as a bookmark because you'll never remember the URL address!"
In the autumn of 2008, AOL suddenly announced they were doing away with the AOL Journals blog feature. I (prematurely) published a kind of sensational, "My blog is ending" post! Then, I learned AOL had made arrangements with blogspot, (later called Google blogger) that if you wanted to transfer your blog there, you could. For a non-technical guy like me, it was a little scary, but I followed all the procedures they told me to do, and viola! I had a new blog home and a new URL address, and all my material from AOL Journals was saved. (I frankly never thought I'd have to deal with this issue again!)
Between 2006 and 2010 I was a full-time pastor. Ironically, this blog was anything but a typical pastor's blog. Only about one in ten posts had anything to do with God or the Bible or church or ethics. Rather, posts were about things like my favorite soft drinks, or complaints about bad service I'd received, or thoughts about my favorite television shows, or thoughts about politics. I did have a number of Christian friends and folks from our church who got rather upset about what I wrote on my blog. Some said I seemed to act like a silly, spoiled, little kid. They felt I should show Christian leadership and Christian maturity and act more like a pastor. I was hurt, defensive and angry. Yet, I must admit that I think they had a point. Especially since 2013, this blog has evolved into something very different from what it was during the first few years. In the past five years, probably nine out of ten postings have been the kind of thing that sounds much more like a pastor's blog. That's interesting because although I'm still an Ordained minister, I haven't pastored in almost nine years!
I frankly have thought about going through and editing and/or deleting a lot of my pre-2013 posts, but that would be so time consuming! So, it will be interesting to see if this blog survives past April 2, 2019 or not! It will be interesting to see if the door closes on it! If it disappears in April 2019, you'll know why! And, if not, I'll try to post on it occasionally.
Finally, I know a lot of my posts haven't been very good, but for family, friends and others who've read The Blog of Bob Baril during the past thirteen years - thank you!